San Francisco is always on the edge of Right Now. Despite its laid-back approach to life, SF, and its cousin to the south, Silicon Valley, are home to technological innovations that have changed how how we experience the world and each other. Think: Apple, Google, Salesforce, Facebook. While I love living in a city that is one step ahead of much of the nation, sometimes all this “Right Now-ness” leaves me feeling disconnected and adrift (despite all my connectivity and GPS apps!).
To reconnect and re-anchor myself to myself and the world around me, I like to visit to Sutro Heights Park. Sutro Heights is the former home of Adolph Sutro, the 24th Mayor of San Francisco and innovator of his time. Born in Germany, 1830, Adolph came to SF in 1851. He made his fortune in 1859 with the Comstock Load (the discovery of silver ore in Nevada) by developing the Sutro Tunnel – a way draining water from deep underground so that the silver could be mined. How fitting that one of San Francisco’s forefathers would be an entrepreneurial pioneer!
In 1881, Sutro purchased a 22-acre parcel of land in the northwest corner of the city over looking the Pacific. He developed a large Victorian-style garden complete with elaborate flower beds. It required 15 gardners to maintain the grounds. In 1883 he opened the grounds for the public to enjoy.